Known as the “capital of the Golan Heights”, Katzrin is full of beautiful scenery and fascinating history. The original Katzrin, which dates back to the Byzantine era, was destroyed by an earthquake in 749 CE. Thousands of years later, you can still see some of the ruins that tell the story of the ancient town. Lovely hikes, great wineries, and fascinating archeological sites make Katzrin an essential stop in the Golan Heights. Here are our top picks for what to do there.
Take a Trip Back in Time
Some of the most exciting attractions in the Katzrin area are the ancient ruins throughout the area. Many of these sites trace Jewish settlement to the era of Herod the Great, from 39 BCE to 4 CE. Immerse yourself into the Talmudic era at the restored Jewish village at Ancient Katzrin Park. Explore a synagogue and private homes, and see demonstrations of ancient wine, olive oil, and pita production. You can find more relics of Byzantine-era synagogues and churches at The Golan Archeological Museum in Katzrin. An audiovisual presentation tells the story of the heroic revolt of the Jewish town of Gamla against the Romans. Roman arrowheads, clay oil lamps, and coins are also on display.
Explore Beautiful Landscapes
The Golan Heights is truly one of the most beautiful areas in Israel, and the areas around Katzrin are home to some standout natural gems. For an introduction to the beautiful surroundings, hit the Golan Magic complex for their award-multi-sensory presentation that immerses you in the sights, smells, and sensations of this beautiful region. Then take a nature walk at Eden Springs Park, which surrounds the spring supplying the Mey Eden water brand. You’ll see many plants, animals, panoramic views, and springwater pools, perfect for refreshing along the way. Gamla Nature Reserve and Majrase Nature Reserve offer two other hiking opportunities nearby. But if you’d like to take a more hands-on approach to the beautiful environment, the Bell Ofri farm is an animal refuge with a petting zoo. If you get hungry, the es also features a boutique winery and dairy restaurant.
Go Wine, Spirit or Beer Tasting
Katzrin is home to several of Israel’s premier producers of alcoholic beverages, making it a must-visit for anyone with a serious interest in Israel wines, spirits, or beer. The famous, award-winning Golan Heights Winery has its home in Katzrin and offers winery tours, professional wine tastings, and even gourmet meals accompanied by wine pairings. The Golan Brewery, housed in the Golan Magic Complex, combines an onsite beer manufacturing plant, a bar, and a brew-house-style restaurant. But if you’re searching for something a bit more hard-hitting, head to a tasting at the Golan Heights Distillery. A dozen types of whiskey, gin, absinthe, and arak are produced at this award-winning establishment.
As the unofficial capital of the Golan, Katzrin is an essential stop for anyone traveling in Israel’s stunning northern regions. This two-day Golan Heights and Galilee tour gives you a perfect taste of Northern Israel. But for those short on time, a Golan Heights day tour that passes through Katzrin is a great option. These tours will ensure you get the most out of your trip to Katzrin and the rest of the Golan.